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January 14, 2018
THE MODERATOR: We'll get started. We'd like to welcome the 2018 Sony Open in Hawaii champion, Patton Kizzire. It's been a crazy week around. It's been an unbelievable and wild finish as well. Just comment a little on the day and what was going through your head.
PATTON KIZZIRE: Today was a battle. I didn't have my best stuff. It was a wild week. It was a wild day. I didn't exactly make as many birdies as I would like, but it was kind of a survival mode. That playoff was quite a marathon.
James played amazing to get in the playoff. I expect him to keep playing well. He made a few birdies, but it was kind of a grind. It was nice to come out on top.
Q. Now a multiple winner, and you retake the FedExCup. Talk a little about how this sets you up even better for the rest of the season.
PATTON KIZZIRE: The first win was big, and this one is even bigger. To get a leg up on the FedExCup and go back to No. 1. Our ultimate goal is to be No. 1 at the end of the year. We've got a long way to go. A fast start is always a positive. I'm excited to be back on top and look forward to taking that Cup.
Q. Going back to Mexico, what do you think you learned from that experience that may have impacted your play today.
PATTON KIZZIRE: Experience is huge, especially going toe to toe with Rickie there in Mexico. That was big for me to come out on top and to know that I can do it and to see myself do it. I used that experience today. Like I said, I didn't have my best stuff, but I was able to kind of get it done and make some pars when I need to and have a nice little stretch there on 10 and 11. That was a big boost for me. It was a wild day, and it was fun to come out on top.
Q. How do you keep your hopes up on the first playoff hole with that pitch that comes up short into the bunker and James is there? I don't know what's going through your head, but it's got to be somewhat looking bleak at that moment.
PATTON KIZZIRE: Yeah, that was a little rough, no pun intended. I caught a little rough between my ball and the club and came up short, and I showed my caddie all the grass that was on the face. He said, just get that thing up and down, man, and we'll see what happens.
So Joe was big. He was big all week. He kind of gave me a kick in the rear end when I needed it and made me laugh when I needed to. So I stuck with it and hit a great shot there to keep it going.
Q. Back in regulation, you just mentioned 10, how important was it to hit the middle of the pin to drop it down?
PATTON KIZZIRE: That was big. I couldn't tell how fast it was going, but it looked good the whole way, and I knew it had enough speed, but for it to hit the pin and drop in, I might have had, I'm guessing, 12 -- I don't know. Could have been 5, 12, 20 feet, I'm not sure. But for it to go down and then to birdie the next hole, that was a nice little turn of events there.
Q. Both of you had multiple chances to win in the playoff. How did you manage the roller coaster and the ups and downs?
PATTON KIZZIRE: My golf game is a roller coaster. It always has been. I'm up and down and all around. But it's nice to have those days when it's boring. That's my goal is to play boring golf. So I'm used to roller coasters. That's what I've always done, and I'm able to handle it, I guess.
Q. Did you change the way you played 18 at all between the time you played it in regulation, and I think you played it four times in the playoffs?
PATTON KIZZIRE: I hit a 3 wood in the first playoff hole. I hit a 3 wood. That was a suggestion by someone that was pretty close to me, which I wasn't crazy about the 3 wood play, but it made sense because I hadn't been hitting that fairway. So I tried it and didn't hit it again. So when we went back, I was like, man, I don't want to be here all day. I want to make an eagle and win this thing. So I went driver and hit a couple of nice drives there.
So it's a tough, tough fairway to hit. There's no right or wrong club. You've just got to commit to it and do it.
Q. Hit driver on the rest?
PATTON KIZZIRE: Except for the first playoff hole.
Q. In 2015 on the Web you were outstanding, sensational. Obviously, you've done pretty well this year. Did you expect this maybe to come sooner given how well you played the Web that year?
PATTON KIZZIRE: No, not necessarily. At every level I've had a lot of near misses and kind of got the scars and the experience before I was able to break through. Just like on the Web, I was able to get a couple of wins after I had those near misses. So at every level, I've had to work my way up. It's pretty similar here.
Q. (No microphone)?
PATTON KIZZIRE: I'm just going to keep working hard. I want to get the third win. That's all I want to do. I love playing golf. I love trying to get better and putting myself in uncomfortable spots. That's all I want to do is just to be somewhere that I've never been because that gets me uncomfortable. That's when I know I'm doing something right.
Q. You uncomfortable today?
PATTON KIZZIRE: A little bit, yeah. I've never won twice on the PGA TOUR. So that was -- I've never been in a playoff on the PGA TOUR. So that was certainly uncomfortable. Days like today get me excited, and that's why I play.
Q. When was the last playoff you were in?
PATTON KIZZIRE: I believe it was in 2015 at the Utah championship against son Kang. We played several holes, and I was able to make a birdie after a couple of holes and get the victory.
Q. You don't have any one-hole playoffs, I guess, huh?
PATTON KIZZIRE: No, I don't do one-hole playoffs.
Q. I'm curious, when James had a couple of birdie putts, I want to say, maybe the six, seven-foot range and the ten-foot range, what's that like standing there watching?
PATTON KIZZIRE: When I'm head to head against a guy, I'm sitting there saying, he's going to make it, I've got to make it. He's going to make it, I've got to make it. But it's a helpless feeling when they have a putt to win. But, you know, when we're equal, I'm always telling myself he's going to make it, I've got to make it. No surprise if it goes in. Bonus if it doesn't.
Q. Back to you, I would go back to probably 17 at that little 4 1/2, 5 footer. I think you pretty much made every putt you had to make. How much pride do you take in that?
PATTON KIZZIRE: Yeah, I made some short little saver putts. My putting wasn't there today. It was there strong the second and third round, but it wasn't where I needed it to be today to really separate myself from the pack. But I did make a few clutch little putts to stay in it, and even in the playoffs, made a few little putts. So a lot of positives from this week.
Q. What do you do when you don't have your best stuff?
PATTON KIZZIRE: I never count myself out. I made a great par putt on the 1st hole. That was the putt that might have helped me stay in it. I made a great par putt on 1 and didn't seem to make anything for the rest of the day until number 11, and even that putt was a little bit of a push that was soft enough to break a little more to go in.
I never -- I just try to stay patient until I get hot. That's all I want to do.
Q. Do you have any advice for junior golfers?
PATTON KIZZIRE: My advice to junior golfers is to just see how good you can get. Just enjoy having fun. Try new shots, try different things, use your imagination. I think using your imagination in golf is huge, and it always helps for junior golfers to find some buddies that enjoy playing golf too.
So have some competition. If you win, the other guy's got to do some push-ups or run around the range or something. Competition is good for improvement.
Q. Thank you and congratulations.
PATTON KIZZIRE: Thank you very much.
Q. (No microphone)?
PATTON KIZZIRE: Yeah, for the most part. I always expect it to be spot on, and it wasn't quite there today, but I made enough to keep me in it.
Q. Can you speak to how distinctive and unusual this tournament has been with the false alarm for the missile strike and the strike of the cameramen and just everything that happened in this playoff.
PATTON KIZZIRE: It has been a peculiar week. We have a great friend that is in critical condition as well that our prayers to him and his family, and the missile strike was wild -- or the missile threat was wild, and the camera strike was unexpected as well.
So amongst all that, I was able to focus on playing golf, and I was glad to get the win.
Q. Meant a lot to you as well having Chris Kirk out there for a little champagne bath?
PATTON KIZZIRE: Yeah, that was unexpected. He and I are good buddies. It was cool to see him out there waiting on me. He got a lot of champagne all over me and even in my eyes. That was nice.
Q. Waited a long time, didn't he?
PATTON KIZZIRE: He did. I made everybody wait too long. But it's worth it.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations once again, Patton. Best of luck the rest of the season. Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports